Every year, large numbers of students hop the big pond to study abroad in jolly ol' England. As one of the most accessible and well-known countries in the world, it is no wonder that England plays host to such a myriad of students, whose reasons, fields of study, and backgrounds range from artists, history buffs, poets, and everyone in between.
Studying in England is a great match for students embarking on their first international experience - with few language barriers and easily navigable streets, students find getting caught up in the British way of life not only comfortable, but also addicting. We've all seen pictures of the quaint, rolling English countryside, but many students aim to learn what else this prominent country has to offer.
England has no shortage of reputable and high quality colleges and universities. From the vibrant and multicultural circuses of London to the historic cobblestoned streets of Bath to the up-all-night university town of Newcastle, England's diversity offers a suitable fit for every type of student.
The country's capital and most famous city, London is a clear pick for the thousands of students who choose London each year for study abroad. People from all corners of the planet flock here, creating a dynamic melting pot. Dodge skateboarders, ride on a double-decker bus, and stuff your face with Cadbury as you peruse the city’s landmarks - there's no shortage here, with Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Tower of London, among countless others!
Nestled in England's northeastern corner and located on the Tyne river, the city of Newcastle is known to have a night life that rivals London. Home to a large population of students and university football fans, Newcastle boasts a great variety of eateries, pubs, sports matches, theaters, night clubs, festivals, and music venues.
Pro tip: be sure to check out the Alnwick Castle (about a 30 minute bus ride away) while you're in Northumberland. A must-see for Harry Potter and/or History aficionados!
Cambridge and Oxford
These words have nearly become synonymous with quality education, and for a taste of England's educational system, these universities will be the most delicious.
Nearly a quarter of the University of Oxford's student population are international students, and the university itself has the unique superlative of being the world's very first university for learners of English. Surrounded by a community of academics who highly value their studies, when you take your nose out of your book, you're faced with a backdrop of beautiful architecture, small shops, and the Thames River.
On the flipside, the University of Cambridge sits an hour east of London, in an area highly concentrated in business ventures. Students, Gothic architecture, the famous view of King's College from across the river, and history all come together to comprise a dynamic and interesting city that houses the second oldest university in the western world.
Planning Your Trip
As England attracts international students from around the world, a great option for cultural integration may be directly in a university dormitory. Other programs may organize and provide housing specifically for program participants, such as Panrimo, who organizes shared apartments for students in downtown London. IFSA's program in Newcastle gives students the option of living in a dormitory or securing their housing independently. Or, you can live in a castle!
Immersion and Cultural Activities
Sometimes, programs will throw in a few weekend or week-long activities to sweeten the deal. These excursions can be educational, fun, or both - and if you have the extra money to spend, finding a program that offers such experiences may be a worthwhile investment.
For example, GlobaLinks has partnered with STA Travel to organize a wealth of short-term trips to neighboring countries. If you prefer to travel local, programs like Panrimo's offer customizable excursions, where you can see famous castles or Shakespeare's old stomping grounds.
It is possible to select a program that does not include activities so you can instead organize them independently. If you are self-reliant and motivated to create your own adventure, this type of study abroad experience will be both challenging and fulfilling!
England's use of the pound as its form of currency can make us dollar-holders a little apprehensive to invest in living there. Avoid budget-making headaches or skipped meals to finance fun by applying for the following scholarships:
- API offers a variety of scholarships for those participating in their programs - and they have two great choices for England!
- The British Chevening Scholarships are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and administered by the British Council. This scholarship enables overseas students to study in the UK.
- The British Universities Transatlantic Exchange Association offers scholarships of 500 pounds to students studying in England for a semester or a year.
- As a non-profit, the various USAC study abroad scholarship opportunities aim for students to gain international experience -- without breaking the bank.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships